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DWC Farm design workshop

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An online webinar from Upstart University.

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DWC Farm design workshop

  1. 1. Presented by JD Sawyer of The Aquaponics Source #UpstartWebinars brought to you by upstartuniversity.net Aquaponic Farm Design & Economics Workshop
  2. 2. 2 Halle Brake Director of Upstart University & Community Building halle@brightagrotech.com 307-288-1188
  3. 3. ● Aquaponic Farm Design & Economics Workshop ● Bonus conversation on Passive Solar Greenhouses ● The Aquaponics Association and Upstart University ● Live Q&A In this webinar:
  4. 4. JD Sawyer Owner & CEO, Colorado Aquaponics & The Aquaponic Source 855-285-4252
  5. 5. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO ANSWER OUR POLL
  6. 6. ● Create a basic conceptual design for an aquaponic farm ● Layout fish tanks, filtration and growing systems ● Determine plant and fish production ● Estimate farm revenue and expenses In this workshop you’ll learn how to…
  7. 7. Business and Environmental Considerations ● Climate Zone Designation ● Local labor ● Permitted fish species ● Outlet for fish ● Locally accepted crops ● Market pricing for desired crops ● Proximity to markets ● Competitive analysis So many considerations… ● Distribution methods, channels ● Public access, tours, classes ● Security ● Food safety regulations ● Licensing, wholesale, processing ● Insurances ● Business plan (whole other document) ◦ Financial ◦ Marketing ◦ Operations ◦ Human Resources
  8. 8. So many considerations… Site Conditions ● Fresh water source ● Water quality test, flow rate, reliability, temperature ● Electrical service, reliability ● Propane or natural gas ● Road access ● Equipment delivery method ● Infrastructure ● Locally available construction, plumbing materials ● Sun orientation, obstructions, winter/summer light availability ● Local zoning, permitting and regulatory requirements ● Renewable energy systems ● Grading, fill ● Site drainage, water discharge ● Sanitary sewer ● Utility locates ● Wash station, restrooms
  9. 9. ● In any aquaponic system the amount (or number) of plants we can grow is directly related to the amount of nutrient available It’s All in the Feed…
  10. 10. ● The amount of nutrient available is directly related to the amount of waste the fish produce It’s All in the Feed…
  11. 11. ● The amount of waste produced is directly related to the amount of feed fed It’s All in the Feed…
  12. 12. ● Therefore the amount of plants grown is directly related to the amount of feed that enters the system It’s All in the Feed… Dr. Wilson Lennard
  13. 13. ● Number and type of plants you wish to grow ● The area those plants need to grow (or the max area you can provide) ● How much fish feed the plants require for nutrient uptake ● The weight of the fish required to eat the feed ● The volume of water required for the fish based on stocking density Designing for Plant Production
  14. 14. ● Original research on feed to plant ratios developed by Dr. James Rakocy at UVI ● 60 to 100 grams of feed/m²/per day in the UVI system for Tilapia Rakocy: SRAC 454 Feed to Plant Ratios
  15. 15. ● Dr. Wilson Lennard conducted further research and developed models to balance fish feed rates for specific plant species ● Lower fish feed rates were achieved approximately 13 – 20 grams of feed/m²/per day Lennard: Aquaponic Solutions , Fish to Plant Ratios Feed to Plant Ratios cont…
  16. 16. ● At Flourish Farms we’ve been consistently running on feed rate ratios between 15 to 20 grams/m²/day for lighter feeding plants such as leafy greens In our experience
  17. 17. At Flourish Farms we use DWC, Media beds, NFT, Vertical Towers and Wicking beds
  18. 18. ● Large water volume contributes to thermal mass and overall stability of temperature and pH ● With loss of power or pump, plants remain alive ● Proven through years of research and commercialization ● Simple harvesting and transplanting – conveyor belt Deep Water Culture
  19. 19. ● 2,880 sq ft ● Empty greenhouse with a bio secure entrance Starting from scratch
  20. 20. ● 1,184 sq ft of DWC @ 3.5 plants per sq ft ● 2’ aisle width ● 5 species – PI Romaine, Bibb Lettuce, Green Star, Mustard Greens, Red Russian Kale Plan out your DWC footprint
  21. 21. ● 1,184 s.f. of DWC = 110 m² ● 110m² * 20g/m² = 2,200 grams of feed per day (4.8 lbs) ● Annual feed input = 1,769 lbs ● Tilapia Feed conversion ratio 1.5lbs of feed to 1lb of body mass (FCR = .67) ● Annual fish production = 1,179 lbs ◦ Annual Feed input x FCR of .67 ◦ Relatively conservative for Tilapia and assumes slower growth due to lower than ideal temperature Feed & Fish Production
  22. 22. ● Average harvest weight = 1.6lbs ● Total # of harvested fish annually = 736 ◦ (annual fish production gain 1,179lbs/1.6lbs) ● We will have 2 age cohorts in 2 tanks with a 36 week growout ◦ Harvests per year = 2.9 (52 weeks/18 weeks) ● Weight per harvest = 406 lbs ◦ (annual weight/2.9) ● Maximum stocking density = .4lbs/gal ● Water volume for each rearing tank = 1,000 gal Basic feed & fish calculations
  23. 23. Fish Tanks ● Tank Design rules of thumb ● Dia:Depth Ratio 3:1 to 6:1 ● Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) in fish tanks 30 to 60 min ● 1,000g tank @ 60minHRT = 17gpm * Timmons, Ebeling
  24. 24. Inlet flow injection w/ vertical & horizontal pipes ● More Uniform mixing ● Less flow short-circuiting along tank bottom ● More effective solids flushing Image credits: Timmons, Culture Tank Design, The Aquaponic Farming Course
  25. 25. 27 Filtration Components ● Radial Flow Clarifier (RFC) The Primary Solids Removal device ● Mineralization Tank for suspended solids ● Bio-filter for Conversion of ammonia to nitrates ● Degassing Tank
  26. 26. ● Proven to be up to 85% efficient in solids removal* ● Sizing “Rule of Thumb” 4 gpm per ft² of cylinder surface area ● 17gpm per tank x 2 tanks = 34gpm total flow into the RFC ● 34gpm flow rate = 8.5 ft² ⇒ 40” diameter ● 45 degree cone bottom ideal ● Fine the closest best fit tank – For example, 48” diameter 500 gallon 45 degree cone bottom RFC Sizing 2005, Davidson, et al *Integrated Aqua Systems
  27. 27. Radial Flow Clarifier Image credit: The Aquaponic Farming Course
  28. 28. ● Additional treatment of lighter suspended solids post RFC is necessary to avoid clogging and fouling of the bio filter ● Heterotrophic bacteria breakdown solids and “mineralize” them into nutrients and other compounds ● Controls level of de-nitrification Mineralization Tank Mineralization tank – brush filter
  29. 29. ● About 3% of daily feed ends up as Ammonia-Nitrogen in the water* ● 4.8lbs of daily feed @ 3% ⇒ 64g TAN ● Volumetric TAN Conversion rate (VTR) is the grams of TAN per volume of media per day converted into nitrate ● Design VTR = 15gTAN/ft³ ● Assuming granular media (>175 ft²/ft³)* ● 64gTAN/15g VTR= 4.3ft³ of media ● Media @ 50% of container volume≅ 9ft³ or 64 gallons ● A 64 gallon tank ≅ 2ft diameter x 2.6ft height Biofilter Sizing * Timmons, Ebeling Recirculating Aquaculture 3rd Edition
  30. 30. Vortex Brewer ● Additional breakdown of solids removed from the RFC ● Nutrient rich water can be reintroduced back into the media beds or used as fertilizer for soil based agriculture ● Water can also be sold to other farmers for additional farm revenue ● This tank is an air driven brewer utilizing air from the existing blower for aeration and vortexing of solids (no additional energy demand)
  31. 31. ● 108 sq ft of media beds ● 66 sq ft for nursery based on seedling rotation ● 66 sq ft for microgreens under nursery ● Lab, sink and work surface areas Other Growing Systems
  32. 32. ● We have a business plan! ● We’re raising Tilapia ● Water temperature is 72F ● Desired pH range is 6.6 to 7 ● No artificial lights except for the nursery and microgreen decks ● Colorado climate ● Climate controlled greenhouse ● Municipal filtered water Assumptions for this Exercise
  33. 33. INTERMISSION - Passive Solar Greenhouses
  34. 34. 37
  35. 35. JD Sawyer “Aquaponics and passive solar greenhouses enable truly sustainable year-round food production. With the right system and the right structure, commercial aquaponics becomes practical and profitable.”
  36. 36. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO ANSWER OUR POLL
  37. 37. DWC Plant Production & Revenue Pricing, density, culture times and yield data are derived from Flourish Farms in Denver, CO
  38. 38. Planting layout and density Actual planting strategy, choice of crops, and percentage allocation in the system are all up to you and the proper mix you need to satisfy your customers
  39. 39. Culture period and loss rate Loss rate is the difference between the density planted in the rafts versus the actual sellable product
  40. 40. Unit pricing Price, distribution strategy, customer base, wholesale vs. retail etc. are driven by your business plan and market forces
  41. 41. Revenue per Species/Unit ● 100 sq ft of media beds could contribute another 1,500 to 3,000 crops per year
  42. 42. Microgreens Production & Revenue
  43. 43. ● Total annual weight of harvested fish = 1,179 lbs ● Average $5 per lb for whole live Tilapia ● Total Fish Revenue = $5,897 Fish Production & Revenue
  44. 44. ● Leafy Greens in DWC $49,141 ◦ Includes seasonal production variability ● Microgreens $13,127 ● Fish Revenue $ 5,897 ● Total Revenue $68,165 Potential Revenue – Year 2
  45. 45. ● Pests ● Startup ● Nutrient Deficiencies ● Operator skills, Management and Training ● Business & Marketing Plan (lack there of) ● Customer & price volatility ● Available light ● Plant species ● Culture time in system Just a few variables that influence plant production, loss rate & profit! ● Performance of biofilter ● Fish species ● Fish feeding or not feeding ● Temperature and environment ● Quality of starts ● Product handling ● Monitoring controls and backup systems ● Food Safety and HACCP plan ● Supply chain consistency ● Water Quality
  46. 46. ● Utilities = $ 5,082 ◦ Electricity, gas, water ● Supplies = $ 8,836 ◦ Plug trays, fish feed, adjusters, IPM, packaging, parts ● General Admin = $ 4,820 ◦ Licenses, insurances, professional fees ● Payroll = $38,322 ◦ Wages, Taxes, Workers Comp ● Total Expenses = $57,060 Estimated Expenses
  47. 47. Executive Summary Cash Flow
  48. 48. Create, Innovate, Educate, Integrate, Evolve www.theaquaponicsource.com
  49. 49. upstartuniversity.net Farm training from start to finish. Save 10% TODAY ONLY! | Coupon Code: dwcwebinar “It's been a week and frankly speaking I think the courses are so addictive that I have lost count of hours and days, I only wish to have enrolled earlier as it is really helping me in understanding the basics and the mistakes I was making and that I would have made had I not taken to USU.” -Ashish Tandon, Monthly Unlimited Member "The Upstart University is excellent - it is the best online learning experience I have ever participated in… I am hooked." -Marvin Golden, Apafia Farm Fresh
  50. 50. Next Upstart Webinar: Sept 8th CEA & Climate Control
  51. 51. Q & A

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